FLORENCE, Ky. - The Florence Police Department is finding a new way to keep traffic flowing during emergencies.
The department is installing traffic light inverters at five major Florence intersections. The inverters will allow police officers to easily control the traffic lights during power outages.
If the power is out, an officer can control the traffic light by hooking the inverter to a switch on the power box of the traffic light, and then hooking it to the battery of the police cruiser.
Florence police are using major weather events, like the Hurricane Ike wind storms of 2008 and the ice storm of 2009, as an example of how this will be helping the community.
Captain Linny Cloyd says the winds of Hurricane Ike knocked out power at busy intersections, and 15 officers were pulled from their normal patrol duties to direct traffic.
The inverters will control that, as well as stop major traffic backups and lighten the risk of car crashes.
Florence police worked with the Kentucky Transportation Department to start the program. Police say the five traffic light inverters cost $6,500. They are using seized drug money to pay for the new system.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet also installed transfer switch boxes at 10 high volume intersections in Covington. Police officers will be given a key to the boxes granting control of traffic signals when power goes out.
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